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The 12-month programme

Maybe it was a New Year's resolution. Or a landmark birthday. Whatever the milestone, it's given you a chance to look back over the year.
PTI | By Kiran Sawhney
UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2005 01:04 PM IST

Maybe it was a New Year's resolution. Or a landmark birthday. Whatever the milestone, it's given you a chance to look back over the year, and the view aim's pretty. Long hours at work, short hours at the gym, one too many beers or big meals and-why be delicate? -Sheer laziness has conspired against you. You feel dull and sluggish. Gazing into the mirror, you see that you look dull and sluggish.
 
Something in you snaps. With steely resolve, you stare down the corpulent apparition in the mirror. Your mind is made up: By this time next year, that lackluster lead butt looking back at you will be gone, replaced by the image-no, replaced by the reality-of a firmer, fitter you.

Twelve months is a nice chunk of time to get in terrific shape, but it's also a long time in which you could lose your way. If you're going to stay committed to a year of fitness, you'll need a month-by-month plan, one that's flexible enough that you can build in your own goals and favorite exercises, yet specific enough that you won't have to wonder what to do next to stay in shape.

Setting Goals

Since you should be working out year-round anyway-not just doing crash training where you give yourself a month to get in shape-most experts agree that a 12-month regimen is one of the best formats for planning a lifetime of fitness. There are some motivational pitfalls to this approach, however.

Don't aim for too much too soon. The danger here is injuring you. Or worse, you slog along aimlessly for a few weeks, and you don't see any results, so you give up. That's why it's important to set some goals in the short term.

Diet


As you embark on your yearlong quest, don't just think exercise-think nutrition. If you're eating badly, you're sabotaging your own fitness goals. Make sure your workout mentality extends from the gym to the kitchen. Goal-setting, nutrition-balancing, exercising- they are all part of the 12-month exercise plan.


The First Quarter Goals


Fitness: Work towards Cardiovascular fitness by doing any aerobic activity of your choice ranging from walking, jogging, swimming, kickboxing, step training, hi/lo or playing outdoor game. This will help you gain muscle mass & loose some fat. This will also strengthen your cardiovascular system.

Nutrition: Start working to cut fat consumption to 30 per cent or less of your daily calorie intake. Instead of three big meals have mini meals at lesser intervals of time, which will boost your metabolism.

The Second Quarter Goals

Fitness: Start gaining muscle mass. Do some weight training and achieve those six pack abs, well defined shoulders, biceps, triceps and calves. Muscle consumes more calories than fat. Your basal metabolic rate will automatically shoot up.

Nutrition: Continue to squeeze fat out of your diet. Focus more on proteins.

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